Money Struggles Map: The Top Financial Challenges by State

Money Struggles Map: The Top Financial Challenges by State

Whether it’s paying tuition bills or getting a budget back on track, we all have money challenges that keep us up at night.

But do our neighbors have our same concerns?

In a new survey, GOBankingRates asked Americans from coast to coast to name their biggest money challenges. And while there are some general trends, the geographic breakdown shows ways your location can influence your financial state.

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In California, residents are most concerned about paying for higher education. No surprise, as the University of California system has made headlines for tuition hikes over the past few years. Tuition was also top of mind in Hawaii, Utah, Arkansas, and D.C.

Down in Louisiana, retirement planning has locals preoccupied. It doesn't help that, according to AARP, more than half of Louisiana’s private sector employees (ages 18 to 64) don’t have access to a company-sponsored retirement plan. They are joined by much of the rest of the country—26 states—who put retirement planning at the top of their concerns.

New York City is notoriously expensive, and New York ranks as the state with the fourth highest cost of living, according to a recent analysis. Sure enough, the survey finds New Yorkers wrestle most with keeping a budget. But they aren't the only ones who struggle with that. More than a third of states rank budgeting as the top issue.

Then there are the outliers...

Alaska, Maine, and New Hampshire were the only states to rank paying off credit cards as the most daunting challenge, while South Dakota stands alone in highlighting saving for an emergency fund as the big goal.

Did your main money concern match that of your neighbors? You can see the number one challenge in each of the 50 states here.

To help you deal with whatever financial headwinds you face, check out our many tips and tools to keep you moving ahead.

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